Francis Bacon's 'Sketch for a Portrait of Lisa' (1955) features in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts major exhibition: 'Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia', on until February 24th. 'Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia' celebrates the rich and distinctive culture and artistic heritage of East Anglia, from antiquity up to present day works. The exhibition opened on September 14th 2013 marking the unveiling of the newly-refurbished galleries, and is a major feature of the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the University of East Anglia (UEA). The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is an inspirational public art museum situated on the campus of the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Gifted by Sir Robert and Lady Lisa Sainsbury to the University in 1973, the Sainsbury Collection includes the largest group of early paintings by Francis Bacon in Northern Europe. During the 1950's, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury developed a close relationship with Francis Bacon, cemented in 1955 when Lisa commissioned him to make a portrait of Sir Robert, the only time Bacon agreed to such a venture. In the same year, Bacon began a series of portraits of Lisa of which 'Sketch for a Portrait of Lisa' is the earliest surviving example.
“I went to Norwich last week and saw your magnificent collection of sculptures. You and Lisa have really made a wonderful gift to the nation”. - Francis Bacon having visited the Sainsbury Centre writing to Sir Robert Sainsbury in May 1978
'Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia' presents some 250 works that the region has inspired, produced, collected and is associated with the area. The diverse selection of works will range from paintings, sculpture, architecture, ceramics, glass and jewellery to photography, graphic design, fashion and costume, product, and textile design. The works on display are being loaned from an impressive list of over 60 public and private collections including the Royal Collection, the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Gallery. Artists works in the exhibition include: Francis Bacon, Henry Moore, John Constable, Barbara Hepworth, Elisabeth Frink, John Sell Cotman, J. M. W. Turner, Ana Maria Pacheco, and many others. The exhibition is open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am to 5pm, closed on Mondays, including Bank Holidays. For more information including opening times and ticket prices click here. 'Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia' September 14th 2013 - February 24th 2014 Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Norwich, NR4 7TJ Word ref: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts press release and website, special thanks to Sue Bond of Sue Bond Public Relations. *Please note information including names, dates and featured works, opening days/hours are subject to change, for confirmation please visit the exhibition website.